Science: Shadow Watchers

In the chill, grey dawn, near Malta, Mont., some 250 people waited nervously. John Q. Stewart, Princeton astronomer, and General Electric's James Stokley, old hands who had worked on three previous eclipses, frowned blackly at the cloud-covered eastern sky. They had rehearsed for weeks for this event. They had taken a Lloyds insurance policy against the disaster of a cloudy day. They and their 60 assistants (including famed Princeton Physicist Ira Freeman and his wife), were primed with cameras, light meters, other eclipse-recording paraphernalia.

Some of the laymen were no less anxious than...

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